SSETU (Student Support, Engagement & Tutelage) is the Wellness Centre of the University. It provides counselling and promotes good health which is essential for an engaging life at the University and beyond. The Health Centre on campus provides expert consultation. Being located in the centre of city, the health centre is associated with several high quality hospitals in the vicinity of the University.
We created this resource as a way to help you and your peers address some important things that aren’t usually talked about, but are important to think about at this juncture in your life.
University life can be fun and fulfilling, providing students various opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge, develop character, and make friends from different states and cultures. However, adjusting to the new environment and managing academic and personal demands may induce some amount of stress and anxiety. Confiding in family or friends is a good coping strategy but students can also walk in and meet the counsellors available at SSETU.
Students can talk openly about:
- Academic pressures
- Pre-exam stress
- Anxiety about career
- Peer pressure
- Missing home and family
- Coping in a new environment etc.
- Relationship difficulties
- Family issues
They can also discuss tips for studying, preparing for exams, managing time, meeting deadline for projects and assignments and similar issues related to academic life.
SSETU provides counselling for personal, academic or relationship issues in an environment of complete privacy and confidentiality.
Ahmedabad University family members have availed the services of the in-house counsellors, spanning more than 1000 sessions.
The University extends the counselling service to make it even more inclusive. Collaboration with an online portal, YourDOST offers another platform to students. It ensures anonymity in addition to confidentiality and trust. This portal offers online chats, audio calls and even video calls for one to one counselling.
Panel of Mental Health Professionals
The University is committed to providing wellness services to its community of students, faculty and staff. To augment the services further, a panel of mental health professionals has been taken on board and their services are available to the University community. These professionals have expertise in various domains and are qualified psychiatrists, psychologists or counsellors.
Free Medical Consultations
A Senior Consulting Physician who has also specialised in Gynaecology, Dr Gayatri Raval visits from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. Students are free to walk in for free consultation. The Health Centre at SSETU is actively involved in rendering medical consultation to students and staff who walk in to see Dr Raval. In the last 7 years, above 6000 students and staff have visited the Health Centre for free walk-in medical consultations.
Mandatory Primary Health Check-up
Nearly 7200 students have undergone our primary health check up. Early detection of health issues has helped many.
As per the recommendation of the state government, Thalassemia Screening has been undertaken by the University in collaboration with the Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS). SSETU has coordinated screening of all final year students, across all Programmes. More than 5350 students have been screened since 2013.
SSETU supports IRCS in organising Blood Donation camps across all the campuses. Students participate enthusiastically. So far nearly 2400 units of blood have been donated.
Talks on youth related health topics by experts are also a way of reaching out to our students. Other than that, talks specifically for women students and employees are also conducted.
Campaigns for general health awareness and those that benefit lady staff members have also been organised.
Ten Yoga Camps have been organised so far. International Yoga Day celebrations are also held annually.
For any health queries, the University Doctor, Dr Gayatri Raval can be reached on [email protected].
Please use the form below for any medical queries.
You are on a crucial journey that will take you towards excellence in your chosen fields. A healthy life style is an essential pre-requisite.
This Transition Guide can help you find simple ways to take care of your wellbeing, improve focus and academic success, and increase energy so it is easier to achieve your goals.
The Office of Dean of Students is a Campus resource you must make use of to enhance your academic success and your Ahmedabad University experience. We created this resource as a way to help you and your peers address some important things that aren’t usually talked about, but are important to think about at this transition point in your life.
Take care of yourselves, wear helmets and seat belts, follow all road safety rules, eat healthy and exercise! Good luck!
For students, University life can be fun and fulfilling; one that provides them various opportunities to acquire new skills and knowledge, prepare for a career, develop character, and make friends from different states and cultures.
However, adjusting to the new environment and managing academic and personal demands may induce some amount of stress and anxiety. Confiding in family or friends is a good coping strategy but students can also walk in and meet a psychological counsellor available at the Wellness centre – SSETU – a part of the Office of the Dean of Students.
Some important matters that aren’t usually talked about, but are important to ponder over are given below. We would be very happy to have conversations with you over these topics and beyond.
Mental Health is affective, cognitive and behavioural wellness. This means that a mentally healthy individual will feel, think and behave in a way that is conducive to leading a functional and satisfying life. He/she will be productive, face challenges, will be able to deal with ordinary stresses, conduct relationships, will show resilience and will adapt to changes in the environment.
Having good mental health does not mean not feeling sad, unhappy, annoyed, angry, etc. Often these negative emotional states are actually a sign of good mental health.
Transient emotional distress This may build up over a period of time or may be triggered by an incident. During this state of mind, the quality of life is adversely impacted. It may hamper one or two areas of existence or may encompass many areas of life like health, relationships, daily activities, academic or professional performance or eating and sleeping patterns. Usually a person recognises the problem and understands that help is required. With some counselling support, the individual can develop a deeper understanding of the problem and use healthy coping mechanisms to overcome the state.
OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO YOU:
- Face-to-face psychological counselling
- On-line counselling
- Choice of external mental health professionals
How Will Counselling Help Me?
- It will help you to draw upon your internal resources and identify and develop those strengths which will equip you to handle difficulties in future also.
- It will help you to decrease your dependence on others and instead assist you to learn to rely on yourself.
- Counselling will help you to build your confidence and self-esteem.
THREE IMPORTANT MANTRAS
- Importance of a Healthy Life Style So much emotional distress is caused due to a poor life style; as though it is the root cause of so many ills. Social media addiction, erratic sleeping patterns, poor personal hygiene, indiscipline in matters of choice of food and mealtimes, lack of physical activity and poor time management are at the core of many problems that we face.
- Watch Your Sources of Influence Are you following popular icons and celebrities on social media platforms? Do you easily get influenced by your peers under pressure? Do you catch news and information from the social media? Apart from families and educators there are other potent influencers like the neighbourhood, peers, the media and the role models in the public domain. Aspire to learn to choose positive influences over the disruptive ones.
- Set Objectives Try to achieve
Practice good emotional habits like:
- positive self-regard,
- good emotional self-regulation skills,
- strong coping skills,
- sense of right and wrong and
- sense of justice and fair play.
- practicing gratitude,
- giving up jealousy/envy,
- not harboring resentments,
- learning to put others before self and
- not indulging in self-pity and not carrying old emotional baggage.
Be-well-to-do-well initiative (Group therapy and Support / Focus groups)
- Do you think you are over active in the virtual world? Do you wish to cut down on the hours you spend on social media or the internet surfing, on a daily basis? Do you depend on appreciation and validation from others and feel bad when your friends don’t respond positively to your posts?
- Do you sleep very late (post midnight) and wake up just in time for your classes? Do you want to follow a more healthy routine in tune with the circadian cycle?
- Are you in a toxic relationship? Are you nursing a broken heart after a failed relationship? Do you have relationship issues?
- Did you suffer a setback (failure, disappointment or illness), a loss (illness or death in the family) or any other form of grief?
Well, if you think you fall in any of the above situations, the counsellors will help you bond with others like you so that you can share your concerns in a closed group and learn from each other’s experiences. Additionally, the counsellors will hold group therapy for such support groups where the focus is on learning to have a better emotional quotient. At the University, we already have two such support groups and can build more if you reach out to us.
Based on the areas of concern, three support groups were formed in the last two academic years.
- ALIENATION VERSUS INTEGRATION This group has students who either felt alienated or were compassionate and ready to help integrate alienated students. So the students of the group are either victims of alienation or ambassadors of integration. Bringing these two types of student groups together on one platform, was an effort to help form a cohesive group that bonded well.
- PROCRASTINATORS Bringing a group of procrastinators together is an attempt to have the students share concerns, explore ideas of group study, pick up some sound study advice and help each other stay on course.
- WEIGHT WATCHERS: The University has a support group of weight watchers this year (2020-2021). The mandatorily collected Health Data of the first year students threw up an alarming statistic. Twenty percent students were found to be overweight and another 8% were obese. So to help and motivate them to lead a healthy lifestyle this group was formed. Eighteen students registered and it is a very active and cohesive group. The group remains in touch on a daily basis, posting individual fitness regimens, diet plans and other useful information regarding nutrition, recipes, health facts etc.
Emotional distress brings instant changes to out body. The hormones that help to fight stress are released and the body is in a fight mode, causing stress. The muscles become taut and we feel edgy. Breathing is uneven, there could be churning in the stomach or we may not be able to focus and think clearly. The body craves to go back to the original, stable and relaxed state. Help your body achieve that by practicing Deep Breathing.
Q - WHAT IS DEEP BREATHING?
Deep Breathing is when we inhale in a way that most parts of our lungs get filled with fresh oxygenated air and we exhale so that we push out as much used up air out along with carbon di oxide. It can help your heart rate return to normal, which helps you to relax.
Here’s how you do it: If possible, sit and close your eyes. If not, just focus on your breathing.
- Inhale your breath (preferably through your nose) for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 4 more seconds. You’re not trying to deprive yourself of air; you’re just giving the air a few seconds to fill your lungs.
- Exhale slowly through your mouth for 4 seconds.
- Pause for 4 seconds (without speaking) before breathing in again.
Repeat this process as many times as you can. Even 30 seconds of deep breathing will help you feel more relaxed and in control.
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
Progressive Muscle Relaxation is when you focus on all parts of your body one by one and consciously make an effort to loosen the taut muscles. This can help to release tension that you may be holding in your body. It’s a quick, easy, and subtle way to calm yourself down.
Here’s how you do it: If possible, lay supine and close your eyes. Or else, do it in a relaxed sitting position.
- While taking deep breaths, clench your right fist tightly for approximately 5 seconds.
- Continuing to breathe deeply, slowly release your fist over the course of about 15 seconds while concentrating on the way your hand feels.
- Repeat with your left hand.
- Starting from top to bottom (from forehead to toes) or the other way round, concentrate on the muscles of that body part and let them loose till all the muscles relax.
- Gradually work downwards from forehead to face, to neck, shoulders, upper back, middle back, lower back, upper arms, lower arms, palms, fingers, chest, abdomen, hips, thighs, knee joints, legs, feet and toes.
- All this while breathe deeply and bring back your attention and focus to the body.
- Train your mind to think that you are relaxing and are experiencing calm.
Although not as easy to do in public, you can do Progressive Muscle Relaxation with your whole body as described above. This is a great technique to use if you’re having trouble falling asleep. As per yoga, it is called “Shav Asan”.
There are two aspects that need to be mentioned here. One is gender parity and the other is gender identity.
Gender parity refers to respect and acceptance of the other gender as equal with same rights, privileges and status.
There should be no “divide” between the genders. They versus Us is unhealthy. Both are not anti each other; they do not belong to enemy camps. They are complementary to each other; they complete each other.
One does not have to lose for you to win; there should be no game of upmanship.
Both can co exist – with love and in peace.
Gender identity is your internal sense of being male, female, both, or neither. It may differ from your biological sex.
Your gender expression is the way you present or show your gender to the world. Society can often put pressure on people to define and express their gender in a particular way (e.g. boys should dress like boys and girls should dress like girls).
This can limit how comfortable people feel expressing their gender.
If there is confusion about your gender identity, you can discuss it with the counsellors at the University.
This transition is the time when you are on the cusp of being a school kid to being a young adult. This is also the period when you will form your opinions on varied issues. You will be influenced and you will learn to assert. You will carry some baggage from school and home and will want to drop some of it. This is referred to as, “coming into one’s own”. This means a human being evolves and creates a distinct personality of his/her own.
So what guides you through this journey? Your set of VALUES!
WHAT ARE VALUES?
Your values are your guiding principles. They help you develop a sense of right and wrong, make judgments about what is important to you and others. They can help shape your views and behaviour, as well as impact your personal growth and development. Our values come from our homes, parents, communities, schools, peers, culture, religion, people we respect, and society in general. Sometimes some of our values can clash with others and it can be challenging to figure out how to resolve this conflict.
IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS.
- What do I value?
- Where do my values come from?
- How do my values influence the way I look at the world?
- Do my values stand in conflict with people around me?
- Am I a misfit due to my values?
You are welcome to approach a counsellor at SSETU for a discussion after you have answered these questions.
Sexuality encompasses sex, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction. It is experienced and expressed in our thoughts, values, behaviour, fantasies, desires, beliefs, and attitudes. Our sexuality is personal but how we express it can be influenced by our family, culture, social group, religion, and/or spiritual beliefs – in both positive and negative ways.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF
- How do I understand my sexuality?
- Am I comfortable with my sexuality?
- How comfortable do I feel talking about it to others?
- Is there any confusion in my mind around it?
- Is there a conflict with my values or my gender identity?
You are welcome to approach a counsellor at SSETU for a discussion after you have answered these questions.
Q - HOW DO SEX, GENDER IDENTITY AND SEXUAL ORIENTATION DIFFER?
These terms can often be confused:
- Your sex is defined by your physical characteristics (i.e. what sex organs you have).
- Your gender identity is your deeply felt sense of gender, regardless of your physical characteristics (these don’t always ‘match’ up).
- Your sexual orientation is defined by who you are attracted to (romantically, emotionally, and physically).
Bullying is trying to intimidate and/or overpower a person in physical, mental or psychological ways. It is an act of aggression and may be viewed as violence by the victim. It is unacceptable as it is unfair and unjust. It can lead to fear in the victim, which is the intent most of the times, and can lead to psychological scars.
Cyber bullying involves the use of communication technologies like the internet, social networking sites, websites, email, text messaging and instant messaging to repeatedly intimidate or harass others.
- Sending mean/threatening emails or texts
- Posting embarrassing or explicit photos of someone online
- Pretending to be someone else online
- Tricking someone into revealing personal information and sharing it with others
If you or someone you know is being bullied online, reach out for help.
“Sexting” refers to sending text messages that have sexual overtones. Consensual sexting can be fun and part of a healthy intimate relationship, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that this information can be electronically saved and potentially available to people you may not want to share that information with. Both texts and photos that you send to someone can also be forwarded and shared with others. Consider these potential consequences before engaging in these activities. You can also request to have photos or posts removed from various social media platforms by stating that they violate your rights.
Remember that indulging in cyber misconduct is a criminal offence and the University has zero tolerance policy against this.
PROTECT YOURSELF AND RESPECT OTHERS
Q - How do you protect yourself online?
- Don’t post on an impulse. Impulsive posting can create long term problems. Be judicious.
- Learn and use privacy settings effectively. Take charge in protecting yourself online by understanding privacy tools and settings – make sure you’re only sharing information with the people you choose. Keep in mind that privacy settings may fail or be breached, so try to be careful about ALL of the content that you publish.
- Don’t hide in the virtual world. It is helpful to keep in mind that you should behave online as you would face-to-face. Don’t take advantage of the anonymity of the internet in a negative way. Spend more time creating “real” relationships and experiences.
- Understand potential consequences. The way you behave online may lead to offline consequences – with your peers, social circles and beyond.
Dr Rajat had left India soon after his MBBS to pursue higher studies in USA.
He visited his home city Ahmedabad intermittently during the next six years while he was completing his studies abroad. During this period he got married, became a father and settled in USA. He then took up a job there in a hospital and before joining decided to take a long break at home here with his family.
He loved Ahmedabad and was very happy to be spending time here visiting friends and family, eating at favourite places and taking his wife around the city to show her places of interest. His father offered to hire a driver for him, perhaps thinking that the driving systems in USA are very different from here. Rajat declined the offer of course; after all he had grown up here and was used to driving and knew every lane and by lane that he need to visit.
On the second day itself, when he and his family returned home from an outing, his mother noticed that Rajat’s young wife looked rather shaken up. On enquiring he narrated a nasty incident of road rage that they had witnessed but fortunately were not a part of. Rajat was upset as he did not remember the city drivers being so aggressive earlier. He wondered if the angst and frustration was a result of low tolerance thresholds.
WHAT IS ROAD RAGE?
According to Wikipedia “Road rage (also known as a traffic tantrum) is aggressive or angry behavior by a driver of an automobile or other road vehicle which includes rude gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver in an effort to intimidate or release frustration. Road rage can lead to altercations, assaults and collisions that result in serious physical injuries or even death. It can be thought of as an extreme case of aggressive driving.”
People learn this behavior from childhood when being driven by parents and adults.
"Road Rage" is uncontrolled anger that results in violence or threatened violence on the road; it is Criminal Behavior.
Road Rage is manifested in several ways, some being of extreme nature. Some common expressions of road rage are:
- Revengeful feeling with menacing looks
- Rude gestures
- Verbal abuse
- Speeding and aggressive acceleration
- Blocking a vehicle and angrily engaging with its driver
- Honking the vehicle's horn or flashing lights excessively
- Deliberately hitting another person, vehicle or object with one's own vehicle
- Hitting a person or vehicle with a weapon other than a vehicle
- Threatening to use a deadly weapon
Have you witnessed, been a victim of or engaged in Road Rage?
You are most welcome to share your views or experiences with SSETU at [email protected]
Vrinda was delighted they were moving to a new neighborhood. It was green, clean and well…. new. She particularly loved the common garden that was beautiful and well maintained. She looked forward to spending morning time there, taking brisk walks on the cinder walking turf especially created for comfort and protection from injury.
As per her resolve, she started off on her daily dose of fresh air and exercise. There were other walkers too who were regular. Routinely they crossed paths while walking. Gradually they became familiar with each other and would sometimes chat while cooling down after the workouts.
Vrinda gradually realized that she didn’t quite feel upto going for her morning walks. Her parents too were a little surprised at a sudden lack of interest in an activity hitherto enjoyed so much. A few days passed and she kept on feeling out of sorts. But being an intelligent and aware girl, she could understand what the root of her discomfort with the morning walks was. Something she knew but didn’t want to share with anyone.
The reason was the negative comments about her physique, her appearance, “friendly tips” to improve her posture, her hair, her skin, her weight etc. etc.
She was constantly bombarded with signals from her “walking friends” that she was unattractive and needed to work on her body. This obviously lowered her self-image and her self-esteem took a severe beating. She was preoccupied with thoughts of being undesirable, of not being smart. She was now not so sure of herself and felt less and less confident.
She became mildly depressed. Can you guess what she was a victim of? BODY SHAMING!!!
WHAT IS BODY SHAMING?
The definition of body shaming is the practice of making critical, potentially humiliating comments about a person's body size or weight. An example of body shaming is telling a child that he or she is "too fat". Other examples of body shaming are when thin women are told they are "too skinny", short guys are taunted on their height (or lack of it), dark skinned are advised to try something to become fairer or when someone’s gait or posture is commented upon or worse still made fun of.
Body shaming is manifested in following ways:
- When it is done by self to self, meaning thereby that we carry a negative self- image, talk negatively about our body and thus invite similar comments from those around us.
- When we light-heartedly comment negatively about other people’s so called short comings. Even though it is without any ill will, it is nevertheless very insensitive.
- We may criticize someone’s appearance behind his/her back; that’s also body shaming and not right.
- Or we criticize someone’s physical attributes knowingly to hurt the person or get even with him or her, to settle a score.
All body shamers must develop empathy, exercise restraint in commenting and look within for one’s own failings. Do not judge.
All victims of body shaming must learn to value self, learn to love the precious gift that our body is and sift mild teasing from vicious attacks. Accept yourself and do something to change something about yourself because YOU want it changed, not because of pressure from others.
Have you witnessed, been a victim of or engaged in Body Shaming?
You are most welcome to share your views or experiences with SSETU at [email protected]
Sameer and Tara were soaking in the beautiful sunset from the hilltop. They were on a vacation with their cousins. Their parents had not accompanied them, so it was even better for the siblings.
Tara said, “I must quickly upload these pictures on Facebook. I got so many likes and comments when I updated my holiday status. Made me feel so good. I am sure all the pictures and videos I am uploading will make my friends envious of me.”
On their way back to the hotel, they stopped at a souvenir shop. Such beautiful stuff! The store was loaded with items and the duo picked up a lot of random items, not sure who they would gift them to. They went berserk as there was no budget. The credit card limit was pretty decent.
Next morning the entire group left for another holiday destination. They all were having a great time, enjoying fast food on the go as they had loaded their car with assorted goodies to munch on. But there was one general concern; that of adding additional weight during this 2 weeks long vacation. Tanya – Samir and Tara’s cousin – mentioned that she would join a slimming center soon after the holiday. The gym claimed that it helped shed 7 pounds in 7 days. Tara said, “I can’t wait to join it too. Let me look for some smart fitness and gym gear online. I can place an order right away.”
The youngsters were on a high as everything they desired – appreciation, prestige, material luxuries – was just a click or a swipe away. The holiday was superb.
Can you guess what this kind of indulgence is called?
WHAT IS INSTANT GRATIFICATION?
Instant gratification is the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment. Basically it's like this: when you want it, you must have it. It’s an impulsive desire to have things instantly. Instant gratification is expected in many contexts.
- We gain instant feedback from our devices, because we’re constantly plugged in and turned on. Social media gives us instant ability to upload videos, photos and status updates. We receive instant feedback from our social followers.
- Instant gratification is very obvious in modern day society in the way many people spend money. Many of us like to buy things for the instant feel good factor not taking into account the long term ramifications like spending on things we really don’t need, over spending and getting into debt.
- Another very common example would be over eating or eating unhealthy food, again this will reduce the overall quality of life in the long term.
Many businesses and advertising companies are very aware of the human basic need to get instant results. For example fast foods which taste good and are cheap and fast to prepare, provide instant satisfaction but they’re generally not healthy. Banks constantly offer credit cards and also offer to raise the limits so that we spend more and without thinking.Advertisements make unrealistic promises.
Ways to counteract instant gratification.
- Understand and realise that instant gratification will reduce the quality of your life in the long term.
- Understand that achieving great things takes time, effort and perseverance. Instant gratification keeps us distracted.
- Accept that we cannot always have what we want instantly, this type of acceptance can be very powerful and is an effective way of loosening the control instant gratification has on many of us.
- Spend some time thinking about your future and what you want to achieve long term, also what sort of person you want to be in the future (self-reflection). This may help you look beyond the now and that instant need for gratification.
Have you witnessed, been a victim of or are engaged in Instant Gratification?
You are most welcome to share your views or experiences with SSETU at [email protected]
You can walk into the Health Centre at the University for free medical consultation. Students often visit when they have fever or cough and cold, or have had an injury or need a dressing or an injection. The Health Centre provides services of a senior physician and a Gynaecologist to all students and staff. It offers free Thalassemia screening for all students, conducts first aid training, holds special talks by experts on health related topics, runs health check-up camps and also holds voluntary blood donation drives to sensitise students towards social responsibility.
The attendance policy for students requires them to submit medical documents to their Programme offices after an absence due to sickness. However, the documents like the attending physician’s prescription, medical certificate and laboratory reports if any, have to be verified by the University Doctor.